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Harrison puts world title dream on the line

PUBLISHED: 16:57 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

Audley Harrison knows his fighting future is on the line when he steps into the spotlight against Belfast puncher Martin Rogan at the ExCeL Arena in the Docklands on Saturday night.

AUDLEY HARRISON knows his fighting future is on the line when he steps into the spotlight against Belfast puncher Martin Rogan at the ExCeL Arena in the Docklands on Saturday night.

The meeting represents former Repton star Harrison's return to the east London venue that hosted his three-round triumph over Danny Williams two years ago.

Now the fighter who won Olympic Gold in 2000 as an amateur with the Bethnal Green club knows he has to produce the goods against undefeated Belfast fighter Rogan - or watch his dream of a world title chance disappear.

Harrison beat Brazilian George Arias in his previous outing, but it was a lacklustre performance and the 37-year-old has promised a better display against a rival who came through a £25,000 Prizefighter tournament at York Hall earlier this year.

Harrison said: "I know Rogan is rough and tough and will be applying lots of pressure. He has everything to gain, so he has nothing to fear and it will be a tough night. But I will be prepared.

"I am putting in the work and I feel great now because I've had two full training camps. This fight is probably going to be my best since [a 2004 knockout of] Richel Hersisia in terms of all my skills being back.

"I'm nice and sharp, have had good sparring and I'm hungry. I know my chances are running out. But other people's negativity isn't going to get to me. My philosophy, my beliefs and my determination haven't wavered.

"I will not give up on my desire to be the first Olympic gold medallist from Great Britain to go on and win a world title."

But rival Rogan is determined to end Harrison's world title ambitions - and the former taxi driver has even offered to give him a lift home after the fight.

The Northern Irish brawler, who came through a trio of three-round fights to secure the Prizefighter crown, says he will be in even better form this weekend.

"I never turn down a fare and if Harrison wants a lift after I've bashed him up, I'll drive him home for free," said Rogan.

"I won't give Audley a moment's peace and I will bring all the intensity of how I fought in the Prizefighter - and more - because I've had longer to train for this fight.

The Sports Network show also features the return of Amir Khan, who looks to bounce back from his first defeat against tough Irish rival Oisin Fagan.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster on 0844 847 2500 or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

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